Influencer marketing isn’t just for the Kardashians. In case you haven’t heard, you don’t have to be uber famous to gain a steady following on Instagram and earn a paycheck.
But there is a wide range of cash being doled out to those in the sponsored post game. How much could you make?
We looked at the profiles of 2,885 influencers on influence.co to see how many followers they have, what their engagement rates look like, and how much they’re charging for sponsored posts. Check out the findings from our inaugural Influencer Rate and Engagement Report below for an idea on what brands are willing to pay you.
Follow the Leader
You likely guessed an upward trend in sponsored post rates with the more followers you have. While that’s generally true, our report unearthed some unexpected price points. For example, those with 5,001 to 25,000 followers are, on average, charging a little less than influencers with 2,001 to 5,000 followers ($93 and $133 compared with $137).
The first big jump happens when you cross the 100,000 follower threshold – the thought leaders or trend setters with 100,001 to 250,000 followers command about 42 percent more than influencers with 75,001 to 100,000 followers. Make it to the 250,001-to-500,000 bucket and you could up your price by another 53 percent.
Of course, the 1 million mark is what all influencers strive for – and for good reason. If you go from 100,000 followers to 1 million, you’ll make 5.5 times more money for each sponsored post.
What’s Your Focus?
Of the 10 verticals influencers are grouped into, the travel sector comes in at No. 1 with $220 per sponsored post – which is 49 percent more than the bottom-ranking business vertical that garners $134 per post. The entertainment and home & lifestyle niches rank highly as well, with both bringing in over $200 for each post.
Getting Those Likes and Comments
When a brand is making their decision on which influencer(s) to hire, they look at engagement rates (the ratio of likes and comments to the number of followers). Interestingly, three of the verticals that were in the bottom half for average rates moved to the top here – photography, art & design, and business. Engagement rates and overall rates also reflect how many influencers self-categorize into each vertical. So less people in a given vertical means higher prices and higher engagement as the audience is more concentrated.
Coming in at No. 10, influencers in the home & lifestyle sector are in a good position as the average engagement rate is only 4.5% and the average cost per sponsored post ($204) ranks No. 3 overall.
It’s clear that many turn to Instagram to be amused, with the entertainment vertical tallying up the highest number of followers. However, with the third-lowest engagement rate, the 76,118 followers aren’t double-tapping or commenting as frequently as fans of the next two niches with high follower counts (health & fitness and travel).
Those in the photography game have their work cut out for them: This vertical stands in the second-to-last place for number of followers, but first place for engagement and sixth place for the cost per sponsored post. This means shutterbugs on Instagram need to really wow their followers in order to get likes and make their portfolios shine brighter than others so that brands take notice of them.
Upping Your Ratio
The very obvious trend in the chart above shows that the more followers you have, the lower your engagement rates will likely be. The exception is for influencers with 500,001 to 1 million followers – the only influencers with a higher engagement rate have 50,000 or fewer followers.
Looking at the top and bottom buckets, we found those with fewer than 2,000 followers have an engagement rate 151% higher than influencers boasting over a million followers. However, remember that the pure reach of those in the 1-million-follower club leads them to earn over 11 times more.
If you’re working on growing your following, maintain your competitive edge by ensuring your posts appeal to your target audience so that your engagement rate stays high.
Influencers Around the World
Influencers in the United Arab Emirates charge about 25% more than those in the United States and Canada. While the U.S. makes up the largest percentage of Instagram accounts globally, the U.A.E. has experienced a surge in its internet-using residents using Instagram. Not only that, but those in the U.A.E. are also more open to sponsored content on social media than their global counterparts.
While the cost of living and average salaries may come into play with how much influencers in different countries charge for sponsored posts, that’s not always the case. For example, Singapore remains the world’s most expensive city, but influencers there fall to the 13th spot with an average of $129 per post.
The Average Influencer
Overall, we found that influencers’ average engagement rate is 5.3%, and the average rate they charge for each sponsored post is $180. If you’re looking to beat that average, you’re most likely to find success in these verticals: travel ($220), entertainment ($209), home & lifestyle ($204), and health & fitness ($193). Your plan in topping that average should also include acquiring at least 25,000 followers.
Achieving Success as an Instagram Entrepreneur
There’s no doubt influencers are finding money and large followings on Instagram. You don’t have to be a celebrity to cash in, but you do need to invest time in managing your Instagram account, online presence, and the profile you present to brands.
Our Influencer Rate and Engagement Report provides a look at how much influencers are charging for sponsored posts, along with follower counts, verticals, and engagement rates – to give you a glimpse at the playing field. For more insight into how you stack up to influencers who are similar to you, be sure to check out our Influencer Rate Map which lets you explore real-time data from our influencer profiles.
In April 2017, we analyzed the sponsored post rates and engagement rates of a sample of 2,885 influencers with profiles on influence.co. Rate data was collected from influencers who have voluntarily input their rates. Rates generally reflect the average payment per post an influencer receives for a posting on one social media platform. The influencers were segmented into industry verticals based on the category the influencers indicated is their primary focus, although many influencers span several categories.
We’re happy to share our findings with other audiences. We request you credit influence.co by including a link back to this page when using our graphics.